Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

Low-carb Fresh Tomatillo Salsa has tomatillos, roasted green chiles, red onion, cilantro, and lime, and this is fun to make when you have fresh tomatillos. Use canned roasted green chiles if you don’t have time to roast your own! 

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Tomatillo Salsa top photo of finished salsa in bowl

Many years ago one of my friends got a food processor and told me she was going to make salsa. At the time I’d never made salsa, and I thought it sounded very exotic and complicated. Of course, now I realize that if you have fresh ingredients and some idea of the proportions, it’s pretty hard to make a bad batch of salsa, with or without a food processor.

I’m going to give you two options for this Fresh Tomatillo Salsa I made that that has tomatillos, roasted green chiles, red onion, cilantro, and lime. You can make this tasty salsa with chopped ingredients that are just mixed together in a bowl, or if you want a more combined salsa like you see in the photos above just buzz it for a short time in the food processor.

I made the salsa with fresh tomatillos from my garden, but they’re widely available all year in the grocery store. And I used the green chiles I roasted on my barbecue grill, but you can definitely make tasty salsa using canned roasted chiles. And feel free to skip the cilantro if you’re not a cilantro fan! Remember, making salsa is an art and not a science, so if you’d like a little more or less of one of the ingredients, feel free to improvise.


Fresh Tomatillo Salsa ingredient shot of fresh tomatillos in bowl

What are Tomatillos?

Tomatillos are an interesting fruit that’s called husk tomato, jamberry, husk cherry, Mexican tomato, or ground cherry in different parts of the world. It’s easily recognizable from the husk that surrounds the fruit, and tomatillos are easy to grow (but you need two plants to pollinate each other.) When I grew tomatillos for the first time and wasn’t sure how to tell when they were ripe. Now I know that when they fill out the paper husk, they’re ready to pick. If you leave them too long, they’ll remind you by breaking through the husk but they’re still good even at that stage. And if you grow tomatillos, you’ll have volunteer tomatillos the next year!

Tomatillos are the key ingredient in fresh and cooked Latin American green sauces, and the flavor is sharp, slightly lemony, and tart. The tomatillo is a key ingredient in Chile Verde, a Mexican stew made with pork and also in my favorite Cafe Rio Salad Dressing. And I love the tangy flavor they added to Instant Pot Chicken Tomatillo Soup.

roasted green chiles to use in Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

What are Roasted Green Chiles?

In the United States green chiles usually refers to Anaheim chiles which are only slightly spicy. I made this fresh tomatillo salsa with green chiles I roasted on my barbecue grill, and I had fun experimenting with that when I had lots of green Anaheim chiles in my garden. But you can definitely use a 4 oz. or 7 oz. can of diced green chiles (affiliate link), which will make the recipe much easier.

process shots collage for making Fresh Tomatillo Salsa by hand

How to Make Fresh Tomatillo Salsa by hand:

(Scroll down for complete recipe that includes both methods plus nutritional information.)

  1. Because I had a lot of tomatillos I used three cups for this recipe, diced quite small.
  2. You’ll also need chopped roasted green chiles or canned diced green chiles (affiliate link), chopped red onion, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. 
  3. For best flavor put those ingredients into a bowl, combine, and let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  4. While ingredients rest, wash cilantro, spin dry or dry with paper towels, then finely chop to make 1 cup cilantro, or as much as you prefer. (photography fail for that step!)
  5. Then add Green Tabasco Sauce (affiliate link) and fresh-squeezed lime juice (or fresh-frozen lime juice) to taste, and stir in the chopped cilantro (if using). 
  6. I let mine sit for about 20 minutes more before I ate any.
  7. This will stay good in the fridge for up to a week.

process shots collage for making Fresh Tomatillo Salsa with a food processor

How to Make Fresh Tomatillo Salsa with a Food Processor:

  1. If you prefer a more finely-blended salsa you can add the step of buzzing it in the food processor for a minute or two after the ingredients are mixed.
  2. Start with three cups or diced tomatillos as above. 
  3. Stir the chopped roasted green chiles or canned diced green chiles (affiliate link), chopped red onion, minced garlic, salt, and pepper into the tomatillos.
  4.  You can let those ingredients sit at room temperature or not, I felt that processing the ingredients blended the flavors enough that I only let it sit for a few minutes. 
  5. Wash cilantro, spin dry or dry with paper towels, then finely chop to make 1 cup cilantro, or as much as you prefer.
  6. Then put ingredients into the food processor, add Green Tabasco Sauce (affiliate link), lime juice to taste, and stir in the chopped cilantro (if using).
  7. Buzz with the steel blade of the food processor for 10-15 seconds at a time, check the consistency, and stop processing  when it’s as finely combined as you prefer. 
  8. Processing time will be less than a minute if you want the still slightly chunky salsa you see in my top photo.
  9. This will stay good in the fridge for up to a week.

How to Serve Fresh Tomatillo Salsa:

I served the Fresh Tomatillo Salsa over Grilled Halibut. It would also be delicious served with Grilled Chicken, Chile-Mustard Grilled Pork, or Grilled Flank Steak. You could also eat it with any kind of Tacos (including Breakfast Tacos), or with a breakfast dish like Zucchini and Green Chile Breakfast Casserole or Egg Burritos.

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa with roasted green chiles, garlic, red onions, lime juice, and cilantro is a tasty way to use your garden tomatillos!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups finely diced tomatillos (about 10-12 tomatillos)
  • 4 oz. roasted green chiles (see notes)
  • 1 T minced garlic (see notes)
  • 2/3 cup finely diced red onion (more or less to taste)
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. green Tabasco (to taste, see notes)
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice (more or less to taste, see notes)
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (more or less to taste)

Instructions

To Make Fresh Tomatillo Salsa by Hand:

  1. Dice tomatillos, roasted Anaheim chiles (if you're not using canned diced chiles), and red onion into same-size pieces.
  2. Make the pieces about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick, depending on how chunky you like it.
  3. Put chopped ingredients into bowl with minced garlic and salt and pepper, then let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or more.
  4. While it sits wash cilantro, spin dry or dry with paper towels, then finely chop to make 1 cup cilantro, or as much as you prefer.
  5. After it sits for 30 minutes add Green Tabasco Sauce (affiliate link) and lime juice to taste and mix into salsa. Then stir in the chopped cilantro.
  6. I let mine sit for about 20 minutes more before I ate any.
  7. This will stay good in the fridge for up to a week.

To Make Fresh Tomatillo Salsa with a Food Processor:

  1. Dice tomatillos, green chiles, and red onion as above. (I still did most of the processing by hand because I wanted the finished salsa to still have a chunky texture. You can chop some individual ingredients one at a time in the food processor if you prefer.)
  2. Add minced garlic, salt, and pepper and let ingredients sit for a few minutes. (I didn't think the resting time was as essential when ingredients were blended together in the food processor.)
  3. While it sits wash cilantro, spin dry or dry with paper towels, then finely chop to make 1 cup cilantro, or as much as you prefer.
  4. Then put ingredients into the food processor, add Green Tabasco Sauce (affiliate link), lime juice to taste, and stir in the chopped cilantro (if using).
  5. Buzz with the steel blade of the food processor for 10-15 seconds at a time, check the texture, and stop processing when it's as finely combined as you prefer.
  6. Processing time will be less than a minute if you want the still slightly chunky salsa you see in my top photo.
  7. This will stay good in the fridge for up to a week.

Notes

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa can be made with  with green chiles roasted on a grill or a can of diced green chiles (affiliate link), whichever you prefer. Minced garlic from a jar is fine for this. I wouldn't make this without a little Green Tabasco Sauce (affiliate link), but if you use plenty of chiles you can probably make tasty salsa without adding it. I used my fresh-frozen lime juice for this recipe.

I thought the flavor was even better after it was in the fridge overnight. Nutritional information based on 1/2 cup serving size.

Recipe adapted from Tomatillo Salsa by Mark Bittman.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 32Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 91mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet South Beach Suggestions:
This Fresh Tomatillo Salsa is a great condiment for any phase of the South Beach Diet as well as other low-carb and low-glycemic eating plans. Tomatillos do have some carbs, but you’re not eating huge amounts.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Sauces or Fresh Herbs for more recipes like this one! Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

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